Amma -- Words of Wisdom For a New Year
Re-posted from Michelle's Weebly blog
Amma is a wonderful humanitarian, also known as "The Hugging Saint," the world over. She is the embodiment of motherly love and respects all religions and spiritual paths based in peace and love. I have met and hugged this wonderful, loving woman who does so many great actions to help others with the donations that her charity, amma.org, collects. She works tirelessly for the good of others and has many wise teachings to share. She is originally from Asia, but travels on extensive tours each year, not keeping any of the donations she collects for herself, but building orphanages, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes in third world countries and areas experiencing devastation. If you haven't heard of Amma before. I recommend reading about her extensive writings, programs, and tours through her website, which is linked below. Here is a sample of her beautiful writings and speeches. She speaks on many of the same issues that other humanitarians working for peace have spoken about, people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, etc. She has won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Peace Abbey's Courage of Conscience award, and many others for her work. I hope you are as inspired by her wisdom as I am. Enjoy and happy new year! Excerpts from Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s New Year’s Message 2012: “May our lives and the lives of all beings be pervaded with goodness. This is Amma’s prayer on this occasion. May the Divine power to effect positive change – both in ourselves and in the world – awaken in Amma’s children. Amma’s prayer is that this New Year may lead to the birth of a new individual and a new society. “New Year is an auspicious moment wherein people try to correct all the mistakes they made the previous year and try to overcome their laziness. Interest in and enthusiasm for a new beginning is awakened. Many make New Year’s resolutions. They try to start new habits. Many begin keeping a diary. However, if we look at that diary six months later, we will see that entries were made only for the first two weeks – maximum, three months. This is what we see in many people’s lives. We don’t have the ability to persist with good things. Sustained efforts are always appreciated. For example, someone who has served the army or any other organization for many years is always honored by that organization. But we don’t persevere with our good actions and promises. Many start doing yoga, but then, two or three days later, they quit. Many children start practicing meditation with a lot of enthusiasm, but after a couple months they stop. “We should not delay in doing good actions. Our mind is constantly changing. We need constant awareness and conscious effort to speak good words, perform good actions, and to practice patience and compassion. Such actions slowly turn into habits, which eventually become spontaneous. Such habits bring success in life. “Human beings have been given total freedom to write what they wish upon the pages of life. God has given us the pen and paper, but He will never tell us what to write. He will only show us how to write. He will keep giving us hints. He has left what we write on the pages of life up to us. We have the freedom. If we want, we can write letters of goodness, love and beauty. We can also write letters of evil hatred, and ugliness. God will keep giving us hints regarding the respective results of goodness and evil. During the course of 2011, humanity has received so many such hints. “Natural disaster, social conflicts and economic crises are spoiling the sleep of countless people throughout the world. Fear and anxiety are haunting the minds of humanity with more and more intensity every day. Because of humanity’s indiscriminate actions, Nature has lost its harmony. The air, the water and earth have become full of poison. Nature – which was once like a kamadhenu, the wish-fulfilling cow-has dried up. The oil supply is rapidly decreasing. The food supply is dwindling. Potable water and pure air are becoming scarce. Where did we go wrong? The real mistake we committed lays in our inability to differentiate between requirements and luxuries. “If our current generation could reinstate such an awareness of Dharma, then poverty and starvation would vanish like a bad dream." “The New Year reminds us about the flow of time. Just as water drips, drop by drop, out of a cracked vessel, so too is our lifespan diminishing, minute by minute. As human beings, the most precious treasure we have in this world is time. Anything lost can be found again-except for time. Understanding this, we should live with awareness, every moment. We should also remember that each tick of the clock is really a footstep of Death, who is coming closer every moment. “Whatever we see, hear or experience in the world is ephemeral. We need to find the eternal substratum of everything, which is the Atma. Then we will understand that no one in this world is different from us. “Whether we laugh or cry, the days are going to pass by nonetheless. So why didn’t we choose to laugh? Laughter is the music of the soul. We should not laugh, seeing the faults in others. Let us see good in everyone and share good thoughts, words and actions. Let us also try to laugh, seeing our shortcomings and drawbacks. “Many children tell Amma that the world is going to end in 2012. Amma doesn’t feel this will happen. There may be some incidents in some parts of the world. If we look at the earth, if we look at the water, if we look at the air, if we look at Nature, if we look at human beings, we can see that all in a state of agitation. This agitation is bound to echo like thunder somewhere in the world in one form or another. Anyway, death is an inevitable part of life. It can happen anytime, anywhere. But just as we start writing a new sentence after making the period mark, so too the end of one life just marks the beginning of another. But we should not live in fear. Instead, we need to cultivate the attitude of acceptance. Our attitude should be “Whatever happens I will remain strong, courageous and happy.” Living in fear is like lying on top of a bomb; we will never be able to sleep peacefully. But again, Amma does not see anything very serious happening. "Tragedies are always taking place everywhere in the world. Even today, don’t we see accidents while we are travelling? Don’t we hear about airplane crashes? Floods, earthquakes, cyclones and tsunamis are regularly occurring. Wherever we may be, let us be happy and develop faith in the True Self. Let us perform good actions. “Worms take birth, procreate and die. Animals do the same. If human beings also live like this what then is the difference between us and other beings? What message do we leave for the world? Through their selfless actions, mahatmas live forever. Even if we are unable to contribute to the extent they do, let us try at least a little but to see what we can do for others. Even if just one tree is able to grow in a desert, at least that much shade is created. If just one flower blossoms, at least there is that much beauty. We may not be able to read under the light of a zero-watt bulb, but when a number of such bulbs shine together, we will be able to properly see. Similarly, through unity we can achieve so much. The world is like a lake that cannot be cleaned by just one person. However, if everyone does his part, we can clean it together. Let us not be lazy. Let us try to do what we can. In this way, we will definitely achieve what we need to. “Like any other decision, happiness is also a decision -a firm decision that “Whatever happens, I will be happy. I will be strong. I am never alone. The Paramatman is always with me.” "May my children have the necessary mental strength, enthusiasm and self-confidence. May Divine grace be there for all of my children.” I hope this was inspiring or interesting to you. In a nutshell, Amma is asking that we choose happiness, choose to do good works whenever we can, that we choose love and peace. I find her compassion and devotion to helping others inspiring. For more information about Amma, here is a link to her charity's website: Amma International: amma.org There is also more information about her at The Peace Abbey's website: peaceabby.org Hope you have a 2012 filled with happiness and beauty from Michelle at Harmony Way!